How Zoomph is Addressing Changes to the Instagram API (Updated)April 20, 2018
This blog was originally published on April 5 and updated on April 20 to mention expired features, plus new changes to Zoomph Notify and activations.
On April 4, Instagram severely reduced access to their data with changes to its API. Everyone who uses the API, including us, has been impacted by these changes. These changes were initially slated to occur between July and December this year but have been expedited, effective yesterday, without advanced notice.
Updates to the API are likely related to Facebook’s ongoing audit of developers for data abuse in the wake of Cambridge Analytica—the firm recently exposed for improperly obtaining the private data of up to 87 million Facebook users. Facebook is also transitioning its tools and policies to comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), effective May 25.
Zoomph is closely watching these changes and is committed to keeping you informed. Perhaps one of the most important things for us to communicate with you is that while the tectonic plates of our industry are shifting, our platform stands on sturdy foundation:
- Zoomph has never collected private information; we strictly collect publicly available social data that anyone can access via official APIs (by Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+).
- We comply with the privacy policies of all our social media partners and have also been rolling out updates ahead of GDPR.
- We do not scrape content from any social media platform or third-party apps.
- Data security has always been a priority for us, resulting in regular security audits of our platform and properties. Learn more about our approach to data safety.
With the most recent changes to the Instagram API, some of our monitoring and activation features have required updates. Below are some questions that you may have about what’s going on. Some changes are still ongoing, but we will be in touch with updates as they come.
How is your Zoomph account affected?
First note that any content and data you have already collected will NOT be affected by these changes.
- You can still collect anonymized public Instagram posts by tracking hashtag or geolocation. However, you cannot directly track all of the content published by an unowned account, so if you’re tracking a handle that you don’t own, you will may longer receive any of their content moving forward.
- You may still collect Instagram posts from accounts that you own and can directly connect (via logging in/OAuth) to Zoomph. For example, if you own the @Zoomph handle, you may still collect posts from @Zoomph so long as it is connected to your feed(s).
- We encourage all users to connect any Instagram accounts for which you have login credentials to Zoomph so that you may continue to collect content from those handles.
- You will not longer be able to track Instagram comments that are not posted on your own profile.
- Workflow conditions that are based on Instagram user data such as display name or followers will no longer be available.
- Instagram user data–including profile images, display names, and follower data–is no longer available.
- Author @handles (usernames) will still be shown.
- Content from Instagram accounts that you connect to Zoomph will still have a profile images and display names.
- Instagram-based analytics–like audience reach, impressions, people engaged, ZPoints, and Influencer rankings–will be impacted, since follower data is no longer available.
- You will no longer receive ethnicity data for Instagram users.
- You can still collect user-generated Instagram posts (that are public) via hashtag and geo tracking. However, content will appear anonymous, i.e., you will not see the profile images or display names of authors unless you own the handle and have connected it to Zoomph.
- Instagram has disabled third-party platforms from publishing to its channel. As a result, we’ve had to expire Consent for Instagram and modify Notify, our feature for alerting users when their posts are being featured in your UGC visual. Via Zoomph, you can still store pre-populated notify messages and quickly access a user’s Instagram post. As you’re moderating content, click the “…” on a post to open Notify. Then, copy your desired message, click ‘view post,’ and simply paste your message as a comment. You can also leverage Notify to request consent on a user’s post.
What platform updates have already been deployed?
- Immediately after these changes occurred, we implemented updates so that you could still collect content and data from the Instagram accounts that you own and receive data around hashtags and geolocation.
- Most of our visual templates have been updated to accommodate for missing avatars and displays (Instagram requires these to be anonymized)
What services remain unaffected?
- Campaign activations (contests, polls, surveys, microsites, widgets, etc.)
- Content moderation and search
- Analytics from other social channels (excluding Instagram)
- Workflows (excluding Instagram)
What is Zoomph continuing to do pending new API changes?
Our team is working with Facebook and Instagram to provide and address updates as soon as possible. However, we expect some updates to take time, as Facebook is looking to address all platforms that utilize the Instagram APIs.
We understand that these changes are sudden and, at times, concerning. But we are committed to updating you about changes as they come and adapting our products to provide the best, most robust solution in our industry.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to your Zoomph account manager or our customer experience team with any additional questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will respond as soon as possible with as much information as we have.
Thank you for your patience, your understanding, and your unwavering trust in our team.